By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Driver who died in fiery 99 crash identified as popular brewer
Tyler Klaproth dead
Brewmaster Tyler Klaproth, seen here pulling the tap during a January 2019 Ceres Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at Blaker Brewing, was killed the day before Christmas in a fiery freeway crash in Keyes. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of the Dec. 24 fiery crash on Highway 99 as Tyler Klaproth, 40, of Rancho Cordova.

Klaproth formerly lived in Turlock and was the lead brewer for Blaker Brewing in Ceres when it opened in 2018. He later was employed at Blaker’s second location in Atwater until he began working for Claimstake Brewing Company. The Rancho Cordova company announced his death on Dec. 28 with this statement: “It is with broken hearts that we must let y’all know that in the early morning hours of December 24 we lost our (TK) Tyler Klaproth.”

The crash occurred at 12:55 a.m. early Saturday, Dec. 24 when Klaproth was southbound on Highway 99 in his Toyota RAV4 when he veered off the pavement and into soft dirt at the Keyes Road off-ramp. The vehicle struck a tree and then burst into flames. When firefighters and the law enforcement officer arrived they found the vehicle burning and the victim inside the rear portion of the SUV. Klaproth was pronounced dead at the scene.

Klaproth was positively identified through DNA testing.

The CHP said it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash and that it is under further investigation. The area was blanketed with fog at the time.